Cafe of the Week: Kaffa Hoist, Langa

Wednesday, 21 June, 2017

How did you get into Coffee?

I, Chris, have worked in the industry for almost 10 years. I started in 2007, I worked as a barista in local cafés including when Truth Roastery was opened at the Prestwich Memorial. I got encouraged when coffee started to be roasted locally, I was inspired to be part of it. I met my partner in 2012, she had interest in investing in industrial equipment but she was not sure which industry. I introduced her to the coffee and she has been in the journey with me ever since, her focus is still in finance and investment in this industry.

What do you love about owning an espresso bar in Langa?

It's an untapped market and my café is situated right in the Gold mine (Cultural centre) of Langa which is Guga Sthebe. The fact that Langa has a lot of history and we are adding to that by becoming the first coffee shop and café in the Langa Township, makes it even more worthwhile to be there. There are so many opportunities for development in the area and the Café brings that vibe and culture to explore what the youth can do. This I mean, more youth come to the café to enjoy coffee and snacks while discussing social or personal issues.  We also have an opportunity to create employment which we employ 4 people on part-time bases currently and we plan to make them permanent in three months.

How did Kaffa Hoist start?

Owning espresso Bar has always been a dream since 2012, after years of exposure in the industry, I discovered that the Coffee industry was a growing industry and it is fashionable. I however discovered that the coffee culture was not experienced by almost 70% of the black population especially in township. This was a definite gap in the market, my love for coffee grew more and more and research was done about how to start a café. A business was even registered in 2014 and that’s how I knew the coffee was a definite speciality to be in. We landed a spot in Guga Sthebe in September 2016 after applying for over a year.

What does the name mean?

Kaffa Means Coffee, it’s the word that originated from the Kingdom of Kaffa in Ethopia where the first bean for coffee was discovered. Hoist is a synonym for boost.

What beans we serve and how we get to the roaster?
We currently use Deluxe brand. This was not always our first choice as we preferred Africa roasted beans but we came to them because of price and good customer service. We initially started with Kamili brand which is wholly African, the challenge was the price was too high for our affordability. Our clients are used to the Deluxe brand now until we roast our own coffee as that is the plan.

What advise we give to young entrepreneurs starting out?
When you have an idea and you believe in it, do it. Importantly, do not expect free hand outs.

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